Yakup Sekizkök: "Darüşşafaka's Youth Team is Very Strong"

Nov 02, 2017
Darüşşafaka Basketball Junior Teams Director and Youth Team head coach Yakup Sekizkök answered our questions for tbf.org.tr.

Yakup Sekizkök, whose path crossed again with Darüşşafaka after eleven years, emphasized the importance of junior teams.

Darüşşafaka Basketball who plays in Basketball Youth League, continues to lead the group by staying unbeaten after 6 weeks for now..

“I am Back Home after Eleven Years”

-How did you get the decision to become the coach of Darüşşafaka Basketball for the 2017-2018 Season Basketball Youth League?

Yakup Sekizkök: In the past, I worked for the junior teams under the roof of Darüşşafaka. After I started working for the A Team level in the Super League, I took a break from this mission. Eleven years later, I returned to Darüşşafaka. After leaving Galatasaray at the end of last season, I had some meetings with a few clubs. During that time, an offer came from Darüşşafaka to me to become the Junior Teams Director and Youth Team head coach, and our paths crossed again. Now I can say I'm back home.

“It is Our Responsibility to Prevent our Players from Missing Classes, and it is Their Responsibility to Focus on Their Education”

-All your athletes are students. How do you set up your training schedule?

Yakup Sekizkök: Yes, all of our athletes are students; twelve in high school and two in university. It is necessary to find time outside of school hours to adjust weekday workouts. TBF League Directorate sets our games on Sundays so that the trips are done on Saturdays and the matches are played on Sundays... We set the players’ rest day as one weekday. In the remaining four days of weekdays we adjust team workouts after 17:00. We also adjust the individual training of the players according to their school hours. Our students who are studying in University, come for individual training at 10.00 in the morning when they don’t have a class. High school students come for their individual trainings early in the morning before their classes. In the evenings we do our team trainings. We are trying to adjust the healthiest programs for training and friendly games without blocking their school hours. Once we have done our part, it is their responsibility to focus on their education.


“We did not Reinforce our Roster when we Joined the Basketball Youth League”

-Teams in Basketball Youth League are fighting in two groups and your team is the leader of Group A. What do you think about the power balance in the league and the situation of your team?

Yakup Sekizkök: I can’t say we have done a special thing in the past two months. Darüşsafaka makes great investment to its junior teams for many years. There are players who play in the Super League and TBL from Darüşşafaka junior teams. The 2000 generation that our Basketball Federation has invested in, is really a strong generation. Because of that, before the league season, we did not make any transfers and kept our roster. Through a stable and disciplined work program, I can say that we were more ready at the first weeks comparing to the other teams and we won all of our games. Nevertheless, the important thing is the continuation of the process. We will face with very serious opponents. Tough games are waiting for us. We surely want to continue winning. Of course the only goal is not to win but you can’t raise a player with losing games. Every time we go out, we go out for a win. 

“Darüşşafaka Doğuş Cooperation Continues and Will Continue”

-Finally, I would also like to mention Darüşşafaka and Doğuş cooperation. How is this process going?

Yakup Sekizkök: Doğuş Group has been supporting Darüşşafaka since 2013 mainly by the sports club and community, including the education field. This cooperation is still on. Darüşşafaka may have been revised the support on A Team level but the bonds are still solid. We are receiving a serious support both in material and spiritual terms from Doğuş Group. It is quite relieving that this bond will continue in the coming seasons. Thanks to the support from there, thus we can only look at our own business that is the basketball side of work.

Interview: Şansın Tokyay